Detente: The Helsinki Accords 1975



Movement towards detente that was advance by the West German leader Willy Brandt designed to improve relationships between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries.

Origins of Ostopolitik

  • Underlying objective of Western German leaders was the reunification of Germany.
  • 1969 - new government formed in West Germany under the leadership of Brandt who felt contact with the eastern bloc was the best way to establish and stabilise relations.
  • Brandt signed the The Treaty of Moscow (1970and the Basic Principles Treaty (1972).
  • In doing so he acepted the existing borders between Eastern and Western Germany.
  • For Brandt this was the first stage in a dialogue with East Germany that he hoped would lead to reunification.

Ostopolitik and Eastern Europe

  • Eastern bloc countries welcomed Ostopolitik for two reasons:
    • It would help improve trade relations with the west.
    • It would give them access to Western technology.

The Helsinki Accords 1975

  • Improving relations led to the Helsinki Accords.
  • They were issued following an international conference involving 33 countries including the Soviet Union.


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